Wednesday, November 27, 2013

City Council Timeline, Monday, November 25, 2013

Had he been in attendance, it would have been fairly easy introduction to civic politics for the city's newest Councillor Barry Cunningham, as City Council's Monday session provided for a little less than an hour and a half of work, a good portion of it taken up by presentations to council.

However, the sixth seat of Council remained empty (as well as Councillor Thorkelson's) on Monday evening, as Council embarked on their final session for November.

The November 25th gathering offered up a short listing of items as found on the weekly agenda.

In addition to the public forum on the night, November 25th featured another "closed session" of Council, just another in what is becoming a lengthy listing of closed door sessions for this Council.

The timeline of all of the council the proceedings can be found in red below, tied in with the City Council video and audio feeds archived below.

Further information such as minutes and permanent placement in the  audio and video archives can be found below as they are posted to the city Website.

In Attendance November 25, 2013

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Present  
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Present 
Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson-- Present
Councillor Barry Cunningham-- Absent (not officially sworn in to office as of yet)
Councillor Gina Garon-- Present
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Present
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Absent 

Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Resigned her position on June 10th. (She was replaced by Councillor Barry Cunningham after a by-election on November 16th)

Video Archive for November 25, 2013
Audio Archive for November 25, 2013 (not available yet)

(0:00--10:00) Council's video feed appears to join in progress on a conversation between Council and advocates for animal welfare in the city. We arrive at the conversation as they wrap up some of their past history with animals. The conversation appears to be engaging the theme of the animal by-law regarding the number of dogs that a household can have in the community. Councillor Carlick-Pearson joined in on the conversation offering up her support to their cause and situation.

Councillor Ashley then entered the conversation outlining her thoughts on the topic and what approaches could be taken on the theme. She then asked for some thoughts of the couple addressing council, seeking some further background on their committee work in other communities in the past.

Councillor Kinney then stepped into the debate suggesting he would like to work with the couple, he was followed by Councillor Garon how reviewed some of the history of the bylaw. The couple wrapped up their presentation, by asking for a exemption to the current bylaw in place regarding the number of dogs one household can keep on their property.

The Mayor then counselled the City Manager to investigate the issue further and explore options that the City could proceed with to accommodate the issue raised and the request of exemption from the couple.

(10:00--17:30) The next item of business at the Committee of the Whole portion of the night was an opportunity for public comment from the gallery. One citizen offered up some comments on a book that they are introducing to the community (and providing copies to council of).

The book is called Book of Rainbows, a project run through the Hecate-Strait Development Centre, that highlights some of the anecdotes and stories of those that have chosen Prince Rupert to be their home. Council then took time out for a photo opportunity with the coordinators of the book.

Council then adjourned their Committee of the Whole session and returned to the Regular Council session of the night.

(17:30--19:00) Council adopted its variety of minutes and agendas of note for this session.

Petitions and Delegations

(19:00--40:00A delegation of the City's Recreation advisory Committee provided an update on their latest developments. Their first item of note being the advisory that they were still short one person on the volunteer committee, which they would like to see filled before the year is out.  They outlined the mandate of the committee and the five key purposes that they have been tasked to review. They also outlined some of the community engagement actions that they have taken on in recent months.

They currently are compiling information on users of the Community's recreation facility (and those that at the moment don't use the centre for whatever reason) looking to find ways to better engage the community with the recreation options that the city offers, they hope to have their report ready for review in the New Year.

They had a request of the city to provide a city based email address, for a centre point of contact for those looking to provide information to their work. As well as to possibly consider a by-law change to allow for sales of passes on an incentive basis. At the moment, the by-law restricts that option.

They also requested some technical assistance from the City's IT department to better promote their survey. Which comes with a cost to the city, the survey process which could then be used by other city departments for their use. They also wish to explore an online option for residents to access and pay for  recreation sign up programs through an online portal. The Mayor advised that procedure could be in place by January.

They also sought out a follow up meeting with the City Manager to go over some of their key requests.

There was a suggestion for  a day to be set aside for free access to the Civic Centre facilities, to help push the response to their survey process, using that as a way of bringing people into the facility to take part. The plan would be to use a free pass to the Recreation Centre as a grand prize, to be used as an incentive for participation.

Reports and Recommendations

(40:00--44:30 Report from the Chief Financial Officer --  Ms. Bomben then relayed the details of her report highlighting the financial picture from the monthly financial review (you can review the majority of her report from the Agenda package page number 8)

Councillor Garon had a few questions of the CFO regarding the report, included among her thoughts was an inquiry as to why there was a decline in revenues for the City transit system, for the most part the shortfall comes from not selling as many passes to the Ministry of Social Services.

The Councillor's second question was one of which projects had been deferred until a future date, one was the Sixth Avenue Bridge project which has been postponed until next year, the Mayor also advised that the 24/7 recycling depot project was also postponed.

The Mayor then recounted some of the history of the bridges and their maintenance for the City Manager, he then suggested that some kind of report might be draw up to develop a road running down Hays Creek to provide an alternative for the bridge should more issues arise from it.

Council then received the Chief Financial Officer's report for informational purposes

(44:30--48:00Report from the Building Inspector and the Corporate Manager over a nuisance property-- Council heard a report from the City Manager over the nature of dis-repair of a property on The Plaza, with a recommendation that it be declared a nuisance under the Community Charter and that the building be demolished within thirty days.

Councillor Ashley asked where the house was located in the city. Advised that it was located between 6th East and 7th Avenue East. The recommendation was moved and adopted.


(48:00--49:00 ) The Airport Loan Authorization Bylaw 3333, 2013 -- A recommendation to adopt the Bylaw. The amendment was adopted. Councillor Ashley outlined that while she was voting in favour of the bylaw, she was opposed to the process in which the decision was made.

(49:00--52:30) Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw 3337, 2013 --  The City's Corporate Administrator outlined the nature of the Bylaw and what it means, through discussions he determined that council meetings would meet on the second and fourth week of each month, unless Council chooses to change a meeting date. Councillor Ashley inquired as to the nature of a calendar that was provided as part of the Council review of the topic. That calendar in question won't be examined until the next Council session.

Council then adopted the motion.

Following the report, the Mayor asked if there were any questions for the City Manager from his report.

(52:30--54:30) City Managers Report-- Mr. Long then provided his review of his City Manager's report, he outlined the success that City workers had with the recent snowfall in the city, with some positive feedback received from their efforts, he advised that any other items will be introduced to Council at the next meeting.

Reports, Questions and Inquiries

(54:30--1:07:00)  Councillor Ashley provided an overview on a program for Crime Prevention funding-- Seeking for their comment on how they may wish to secure the funding of 1 million dollars, to augment a community approach some of the negative issues that could surround the All Native Basketball Tournament.

While she stressed that overall that is a positive event in the community, there have been issues that have developed around it each year. And that she believes that this funding could assist the city in addressing some of those issues.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson lent her support to seeking out the funding and suggested it could be expanded to other events that draw people to the community. She suggested that the city may wish to spark a committee to examine the issues around community events.

She outlined that over the recent weekend of the All-Native Qualifying tournament, a number of crimes took place and she believes that funding such as this as well as a committee structure in place could help provide support to the community.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson also addressed the changing nature of the city and how there are a number of issues that have developed in the community in recent years.

The Mayor offered up some guidelines to the two councillors as to how they may wish to approach the funding request, Councillor Carlick-Pearson then suggested that Councillor Ashley was prepared to offer up a pair of motions for consideration.

The first motion asking staff to access the application form for comment from Council for the next council session. Councillor Garon then suggested that the City seek out the assistance of the RCMP  as well as officials from Child and Family Service on the nature of the funding request.

Her second motion, then asked that Council seek to put together a committee of the various groups in the community that would have a stake in the issue, asking that Staff compile a list of those groups that should be included for consideration of the Committee on special events.

Councillor Garon then suggested that they could piggy back on the social services meeting held last year, as those participants may already be tapped into the issues of concern.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson then volunteered to help staff in compiling their list.

Councillor Ashley then followed up on the social services meeting theme, looking to use it as a base for reference. She then stressed that she didn't want anyone to get the wrong idea about her suggestions, that she was not targeting any one event, more that she was merely looking to protect those that may be the most vulnerable in the community.

The Mayor advised that he didn't think anyone would take the recommendation the wrong way and that is in the spirit of concern over those that are vulnerable in the community.

With that the second motion was adopted.

(1:07:00--1:07:30) Councillor Garon then followed up that issue with a question if the City was looking to regenerate that Social Services meeting group in the new year, she asked if another meeting could be organized.

(1:07:30--1:08:30) Councillor Carlick-Pearson then turned to theme of new people arriving in town and that there was a need to be more aware of personal situations, expressing concern over some recent events over the last week that she had been made aware of, particularly over the weekend just passed. Incidents that are worrisome, but she wasn't wanting to alarm the community, just that people should be aware where their kids are and to be safe.

(1:08:30--1:12:30) Councillor Garon then asked for an explanation of the recent payment from the Port Authority to the City--  Mr. Long then reviewed the financial aspects of last week's announcement, advising that the City and the Port have had discussions on the proper levels of taxation and recently came to a point where the Port has seen fit to make a partial payment of the property taxes in lieu.

He expressed his belief that city could anticipate a final payment sometime in the near future, with a payment reflective of the assessed values as part of the ongoing review process that will be in place.

Councillor Ashley then thanked staff for their efforts on the file as well as offer thanks to the Port for their partial payment. The Mayor echoed that theme and offered up the observation that the values were not as appropriate as they could be and to the credit to the port, they authorized the partial payment as opposed to waiting for the final process.

(1:12:30--1:20:00The Mayor's Report

The Mayor first thanked the City staff and former employees that helped out at the recent by-election process of last week. He saluted their work and assistance.

He also congratulated Barry Cunningham on his success, advising Council that he would be sworn in at the December session, in addition he acknowledged all of those that stood in candidacy for the council seat.

He outlined his participation in a conference call with officials from across the region regarding subsidized bus transportation service from community to community, to discuss information  and a framework regarding a process to meet with Provincial Ministry officials, perhaps with a meeting in January of 2014.

He attended the Prince Rupert Art Council gathering at the local theatre, which included a European film.

He attended a gathering held in Cow Bay regarding the marine environment and proposed development of Lelu Island, also in attendance was Councillor Thorkelson.

The Mayor updated Council on an introductory session held with companies associated with Nexen and their proposed Natural Gas Export project in the region. More information will be forthcoming also in attendance were Councillors Ashley, Carlick-Pearson and Kinney.

He attended a National Children's Day ceremony. He read the City's proclamation on families and children at that event.

He attended the annual employees appreciation luncheon that honours city workers and on behalf of the City provided his thanks for the work that city workers and senior staff that they provide to the community.

The Mayor was in attendance at an Open House held by Pacific Northwest LNG, and the BC Environmental office, to seek out more information on the proposed development on Lelu Island.

The Mayor attended the October meeting of the Chamber of Commerce, where he heard an update on Port related activities in the community, he also said he believed that the Port was planning on attending to City Council chambers perhaps in December.

He attended an appreciation event for the Prince Rupert Ambassadors of the 2013 cruise ship season.

He took part as a co-presenter in a British Columbia Healthy Communities webinar.

He took a tour of the Canadian Coast Guard Incident Command centre in Prince Rupert, regarding the removal of bunker fuel from the vessel in Grenville Channel.

The Mayor took part in the Northwest Regional Hospital District meeting.

The Mayor then relayed news that the Airport will be serviced with new aircraft for the Air Canada route  into the region.

The Mayor attended a Multi-cultural gathering, where copies of a new book, called Book of Rainbows, comprising stories of those that have moved was introduced.

The Mayor also advised of an event at Pilsbury House that he attended, providing some background on the celebrations held that day on the grounds.

And with that review, the Monday session of council came to an end.

You can access the City Council Review page for November 25th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including media coverage of it can be found.

As always, consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to the website for further review.

Minutes Regular Council Session from November 25, 2013 

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